Citrus fruits, such as limes, grow on trees in tropical and subtropical climates. Lime trees range in size between approximately six and 25 feet. These small trees produce fresh fruit and add ornamental value to yards and landscapes. Because of their small size, lime trees make suitable container plants for patios and atriums. Like all plants, lime trees occasionally suffer from adverse conditions, including temperature irregularities, bug infestations, diseases and poor soil compositions. Save a distressed lime tree by providing adequate care and treatment.
Provide your lime tree with plenty of natural sunlight. Trim away overhead tree boughs and branches that block the light from reaching the tree. Remove nearby shrubs or weeds that block the sunlight. These citrus trees require large amounts of warm sunlight.
Prune your leggy, lime tree to promote new growth. Trees that suffer from minimal amounts of sunlight reach upwards for light, creating spindly trunks and few branches. Trim down the long, sparse growth from the top third of your sick tree to encourage side branches. Remove tall, overgrown sections to allow light to penetrate to the lower branches.
Water your lime tree at correct intervals to save it from conditions caused by inadequate amounts of water. Allow the top inch of soil to dry before watering the tree. Lime trees enjoy moist soil but suffer in soggy conditions. Do not allow your tree to sit in a depression or small basin. Add additional soil near the trunk if the area surrounding the trunk sits lower than the surrounding surface soil. Place topsoil in the depression and firm down to remove air pockets.
Protect your tree from cold conditions. Citrus trees thrive in warm climates, but often suffer and die during unseasonal cold spells. Winterize your tree by watching for frost warnings and covering it before it gets too cold. Place a blanket over your lime tree before the anticipated cold spell and set some portable lights near the base of the tree. During moderate temperature drops, the blanket holds in the heat provided by the lights. Remove the blanket and the lights as soon as the frost warning expires.
Feed your tree to save it from nutritional deficiencies. Treat it with a fertilizer containing ammonium sulfate during the months of February, May and September. Mix and apply the ammonium sulfate according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Good nutrition strengthens ailing lime trees and encourages healthy, new growth.